and on the 10th of April thirteen hundred of this admirable infantry were still unarmed.
This inaction gave time for conference with the General-in-Chief
with reference to the union of our forces against General Sherman
's army, and an officer1
of high rank, the personal friend of both, visited General Lee
, for me, on this interesting subject.
It also enabled the chief quartermaster
and chief commissary to provide for a march by collecting supplies of food and forage.
The press dispatches, received in the morning of April 5th, announced that Richmond
was evacuated by the Administration in the night of the 2d.
I inferred from this that General Lee
was about to abandon the defense of Richmond
, to unite our forces.
Supposing the Secretary of War
to be with the President
, I asked him, in a telegram directed to that place, to give me full information of the movements of the Army of Northern Virginia.
This dispatch was acknowledged on the same day by the President
, who was unable to give me the information asked for. Telegrams from Brigadier-General H. H. Walker
, at Danville
, and Colonel Wood
, the President
's aide-de-camp, at Greensboroa, dated the 7th and 8th respectively, were favorable.
One from the Secretary of War
dated the 9th, at a railroad-station near the Staunton River
, was less so. But there was nothing in any one of the three to suggest the idea that General Lee
had been driven
from the position held many months with so much skill and resolution.
The last indicated, however, that he was encountering